By Kimberly Monge
The Garinger High School gym is finally open for all students.
Garinger contracted Turner Construction Company and Adams Group Architects on January 23, 2013. The plans were to remodel the gym, lobby and the locker rooms. Construction started early in February and was finished by the second week of school, for a total of eight months.
I was the one of the first students to get a sneak peak of the whole building before it officially opened to the entire school. This was my first time ever seeing the building from the inside, so I did not know how it looked before.
When I first walked into the building, I entered the lobby, where the old floor was replaced with new white tiles with diamond shapes of the colors navy and royal blue. The ticket booth location has not changed, but inside is painted creme and the counters are replaced.
Secondly, I walked into the gym. The renovation started from the top to the bottom. The company replaced the ceiling and the lighting. The company added two new scoreboards and six hoops. All of the windows are brand new. There are new royal blue, diamond shaped mats on the wall above the brand new bleachers. The center court floor was replaced because the floor was rotten and the entire floor was refinished to a glossy shine. Everything was changed except the walls.
“I think it is new, it’s unique,” said junior Deshawn Patterson during fourth block gym class recently. “It’s better than last year.”
“It has air finally,” said senior Tishay Greene. Last year it was hot because no air would come in through the open windows. She said that the lights were dim and the ceiling was out of place.
Going out to the lobby, there is a hallway that leads to the boys’ locker room. Blake Dulin, a field engineer with Turner, told me that the company could not change the wall panels because Garinger is an historic high school that was designed by AG Odell Jr. and was considered Charlotte’s showcase high school when it opened in 1959. The only thing the company has changed was covering an unused door so it blends in with the walls.
There is a first–aid room, where there are two new types of equipment: two whirlpools where the athletes can soak their muscles after the game, and a lifting machines to help injured players into the tubs.
Lastly, I looked into the boys and girls locker room. Both locker rooms have light sensors, brand new lockers, and showers and updated plumbing.
Hopefully the students will enjoy the brand new gym and locker rooms.
Coach Smith said she feels proud of having a new, clean gym, even though some people didn’t think it would happen.
“It’s the space we have been waiting for. From the floor, to the ceiling, to the lights, everything is pretty much brand new,” she said.
“The automatic bleachers, automatic goals are things that other schools have, and it’s about time we have them, so I love it.”